To Forgive Or Not To Forgive Your Abuser – The Unintended Fallout: Possible Emotional Abuse or Exploitation Of Your Codependent Friend or Family Member
I was watching a video today by psychologist Dr. Ramani, who I like very much, and I agree with her most of the time.
I even agree with most of her comments in this particular recent video she made that I will be discussing in this post, but it brought to mind one over-looked aspect pertaining to volatile or abusive relationships.
In the video (link to that video here, and I will embed it below, the title is, “Is there virtue in forgiving a narcissist who doesn’t apologize?”), Dr. Ramani expressed that she pretty much disagrees with the concept that people should have to forgive others, or that forgiving others makes a person stronger, etc.
Dr. Ramani rightly points out in that video that continually forgiving pathologically narcissistic persons is a waste of your time, for various reasons I shall not explain here (you can watch her video for explanations). I do agree with her on that.
If someone in your life keeps hurting, abusing, or mistreating you, no matter how many times you’ve forgiven them and given them a second, third, etc, chance,
you need to accept the fact this person is more than likely NEVER going to change and that they merely view your willingness to always forgive him or her as a weakness to repeatedly exploit.
So cut that person from your life, or limit time around them.
It’s not that I disagree with Dr. Ramani’s comments in the video on the face of things, but, I am concerned for Codependents.
On a similar note, in years past, I’ve also read books or seen videos about how people can help their abused friends.
I’ve seen videos by women who divorced their abusive husbands who reel off a list of tips on how you, the friend, can be supportive towards the friend in the abusive marriage.
These videos, books, and online articles, contain lists of things to say or to avoid saying when trying to help someone who is currently in an abusive relationship or someone who was abused in childhood.
Many of these books, videos, and web pages (most by therapists, psychologists or recovered abusive victims) often stress that you, the friend, should just sit and listen to the friend – just validate the friend, do not give advice, judge, or criticize.
I am a recovered Codependent (I wrote a very, very long post about that here).
I am also an Introvert. Introverts naturally make better attentive listeners than Extroverts.
So, as someone who is an Introvert and a one-time Codependent, I was very adept at giving the sort of emotional support a lot of troubled people seek out and find comforting.
For over 35 years, due to the parenting of my mother and the guilt tripping-, sexist-, Codependent- pushing- teachings under “gender complementarianism” of the Southern Baptist church I was brought up in, I had no boundaries, I was not assertive, and it was implied it is my job or responsibility in life to rescue or help other people, whatever format that came in.
All of that was taught to me as I grew up under the false, gender complementarian assumption (and my mother and father bought into some of this thinking too) that God created women to be more caring than men, it would be un-feminine or selfish for a woman to have boundaries, and I was taught that it was women’s “duty” to be care-takers for the hurting.
For me, most often, the support and care-taking my Mom and church taught me to engage in came in the form of “Emotional Labor,” and it made my already bad mental health in years past even worse.
(I was diagnosed at a very young age with clinical depression, I also had anxiety disorders and had low self esteem for many years. I no longer have depression or low self esteem.)
If you are an abuse victim, or if you’ve been bullied at a job, or you were abused in a marriage, or you were sexually or physically abused as a child by a family member (or by a neighbor, or by whomever),
I know it can be helpful, now, as an adult, to sit and talk to an empathetic listener about it, it can feel so good for that listener to sit quietly while you do most of the talking, and for that person to validate you and your experiences.
It can be very healing and feel like a tremendous relief for that listener to refrain from victim blaming you, offering advice or platitudes.
It can help in the healing process for another adult to believe you and just offer non-judgmental emotional support as you relate your trauma and pain to them.
I realize all that.
But have you ever considered that the caring, non-judgmental, empathetic person you keep turning to, whether it’s a friend or a family member, might be highly codependent and your repeated use of that person as your emotional support system may be damaging to THAT PERSON?
Because I was that person, for over 35 years.
I was the sweet, caring, understanding, supportive listener that many people – co-workers on jobs, family, neighbors, friends –
would call, e-mail, snail mail, or text with their problems, because they KNEW I would always listen to them rant (for hours on end, if need be, over months and years), I would NEVER put time limits on their rants, and I would ALWAYS respond in a timely fashion to ranting or sad e-mails or texts.
I spent over 35 years giving a lot of non-qualified, no-strings-attached emotional support to a lot of emotionally wounded or abused people over my life.
Some of these people called or e-mailed me over job stress, health problems, troubled marriages, financial issues, or, they were single and were lonely – they couldn’t get a boyfriend (or girlfriend).
None of these people who called or texted me to complain or sob to me ever once considered how their regular, negative phone calls (or letters or face to face chats) were impacting me. For the ones who considered it, I suppose they didn’t care.
If you choose not to forgive your abuser, that is your choice to make, but…
Be aware that if you choose to not forgive but to also hold on to your hurt and anger, and to choose to ruminate on the abuse,
and should you choose to deal with and vent that anger and hurt by regularly calling your Codependent friend to listen to your rants or sobbing – you are abusing your Codependent friend or family member, which is not acceptable.
In all the years I granted emotional support to hurting people (including but not limited to co-workers who’d stop by my cubicle during work hours to bend my ear for an hour or more about their divorce or health problems), I was never once thanked.
The non-stop support I gave was never acknowledged. And giving that non-stop support was exhausting and taxing for me, as I know it can be for other Codependent persons.
A “thank you” once in awhile from these people who came to me to dump their problems on me would’ve been appreciated. I never got one.
Reciprocation would’ve been appreciated and helpful too, but the people who were abuse survivors, or assorted chronic complainers who used me to vent to, very rarely to never asked about ME and MY struggles in life.
I kept hoping they would inquire about me or about my problems or how I was doing, because at times, I was hurting or frustrated, and I wanted and needed an empathetic person to listen to ME gripe about MY issues once in awhile.
Because the vast majority of acquaintance-ships or friendships I had over the years were non-reciprocal and one-sided, I didn’t get my emotional needs met.
As a result, now that I am in my 50s, after having spent roughly from around age 8 or 9 until my mid-40s being everyone’s “free therapist,” I spent many years as the understanding, sweet, kind friend many people dumped THEIR problems on, and I responded by giving caring, warm, affirming answers, and, as a result, I now have Empathy Fatigue.
I have nothing left to give.
I am emotionally drained after having spent 35+ years babying and coddling all the angry or sad people who came to me complaining or sobbing about how their ex-husband was so cruel to them, or because they were abused as a child by their Uncle Fred and weren’t believed by their parents.
What Is Forgiveness?
I’ve noticed that many people who won’t forgive their bully or abuser don’t understand what forgiveness is. The people who “push” forgiveness don’t understand what forgiveness is, either.
Forgiving someone who abused, exploited, or mistreated you, does not mean you have to affirm and be okay with what they did to you.
Forgiving someone who hurt you does not mean you have to allow them to keep mistreating you. Forgiveness does not mean you have to be passive, lack boundaries, and not put in place negative consequences any time someone mistreats you.
Forgiveness does not mean you have to regularly stay in touch with your abuser, send them birthday cards, invite them to your home on Thanksgiving, or visit with them.
You never have to see them ever again if you do not want to.
Take Personal Responsibility For Your Healing
For all of you abuse survivors out there, for all the abuse survivor advocates, or for anyone who is still hurting or angry over some person from your past who used or abused you, who promotes the idea that forgiving abusers is wrong, if you choose to not forgive, that is your choice,
but you also need to take responsibility for YOUR continued anger or hurt at your abuser (if you have any left), instead of repeatedly turning to another person to act as your “emotional sponge” or “emotional support animal,” unless that person is a mental health professional whose paid job it is to provide such a service.
It is not the job, duty, or obligation of your Codependent friend Susie, or your nice, loving Codependent co-worker Teresa, or your sweet, understanding, non-judgmental Codependent Aunt Betty,
to be your “Emotional Dumping Ground” who you phone for an hour or longer per week, or to whom you send 50,000 angry texts per day, to gripe, cry, shout, ruminate, and moan to about your horrible past abuse (or your current abuse or lousy life circumstances).
If you keep using your same one to three friends or family members as your support system, and especially if they are Codependent, most Codependents are NOT going to get brutally honest and upfront with you that your regular negative, bitter, angry, or sad phone calls (or e-mails) are driving them nuts, making their mental health worse, and they wish you would either stop complaining to them all the time, or seriously curb it.
I have found that most people who will not forgive someone who did them wrong will often STAY angry or hurt about it,
and they will channel that anger or hurt into venting sessions, into emotional dumping,
where they will deal with the inner rage or sadness by calling, texting, visiting in person, or e-mailing the same one or two people in their lives to vent about it, who will tolerate all the complaining.
As a former Codependent person, I can tell you that most adults do not want to sit and listen to another adult sob, cry, or rant and complain about their problems, no matter how loving, empathetic and caring that person is.
Most adults, even Codependent ones, DREAD taking another of your complaining, sobbing phone calls.
I think most adults will be willing, to a degree, to offer you emotional support, considering if you’ve endured a recent tragic event in your life, so they may cut you some slack, but that’s about it.
But even then, usually, other adults have no interest in giving another adult emotional support.
When I was going through the grieving process after my mother died (and I was very close to my mother, so losing her was catastrophic for me), not even during my grieving process did any friends or family offer me emotional support.
In instances where I phoned or wrote to them during that time period reaching out for help, none of them offered any.
They’d either ignore my attempts or respond with giving me trite advice about developing a new hobby, or volunteering at soup kitchens, which was very dismissive and insensitive.
So, you know what?
I learned that even if you’re undergoing a very serious, heart-breaking situation (such as death in the family), even then, most adults will NOT give you on-going, sustained emotional support.
Most people – even basically good, nice decent ones – are self absorbed.
Most adults do not want to listen to other adults cry and complain and reassure and encourage them.
Emotionally Abusing Your Codependent Friend or Family
If you are, especially on a regular basis, attempting to get your emotional needs met through a Codependent who already is dealing with their own pain and problems in life, who may also have Clinical Depression, you are actually, so far as I am concerned, Emotionally Abusing your Codependent friend or family member. You’re making their mental health worse.
Let me give you one example of what this looks like:
After our mother died, my older sister refused to console me at all, even though she knew I was quite close to our mother.
My older sister, Shirley (not her real name), during the years I was in the grieving process, kept calling me to use me as her “Free Therapist” to complain, very bitterly, may I add, about her boyfriend problems and how much she was stressed out by her job.
Shirley never asked how I was coping with the passing of our mother, and the few times I tried to bring that up with her, she’d start screaming mean things to me over the phone, so I stopped trying to talk with her about the pain I was in.
But she sure as Hell expected me to sit and listen to her with compassion every other month when she called for one to three hours to complain about her job or boyfriend problems. 🙄
But here is where things got very egregious.
Well, the first Christmas without our mother, it was Christmas Day, and despite the fact I was kind of numb, I was doing okay with making it through the first Christmas without our mother.
But at noon that day, as I was sitting in the den watching television, Shirley, my sister called me.
The phone call started out well enough, we had normal, friendly chit chat for the first ten minutes, but then she paused.
And I knew what that pause meant.
It meant that the first ten minutes was merely a polite pretense, when it was just an excuse for her to pivot the phone call into a Free Therapy Session for her, which is precisely what it was.
My sister proceeded to keep me on the phone from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. that day (Christmas Day, first one with our mother being dead), to complain so very bitterly to me about her boyfriend, bosses she had ten years ago who were jerks, her current incompetent boss, and several other problems.
Did Shirley ever ask me how I was coping that day, how I was coping with it being my first Christmas without our mother? Nope. She did not care.
At that point, I was still very Codependent, so I did not feel comfortable nor have the courage to bluntly inform my sister that her phone call was too negative, that the phone call was dragging on much too long (it was six hours in a row!!), so I just sat there and listened to her vent all her anger over how her life was so unfair to her.
My mental health was doing fine that day UNTIL my sister called to complain for SIX HOURS IN A ROW.
After I got off with the phone with her that day, I went back to my bedroom where I cried for the next 20 – 30 minutes.
On the first Christmas without my Mother, I was needing to hear positive things from people – not complaining and negativity.
My sister “Shirley” was using me to vent to, to get her emotional needs met.
Shirley did not consider how her negative, bitter, ranting phone call was impacting me or my mental health,
and even had I told her, she’s the kind of person who would have dismissed MY pain by saying,
“I have life so much difficult than you by comparison, so who CARES about how you’re doing?”
Other family were not calling me that Christmas Day to inquire about me, either (I had sent them all snail mail Christmas cards weeks before, too). Because they didn’t care.
I was making it through that day pretty much just fine, all things considered, until my sister, the abuse victim, decided to phone me for a six hour call to dump all her pain, rage, fury, regret, and depression on to me and expect me to absorb it and console her afterwards.
None of that was fair to me.
But I’ve found that abuse victims, and/or people with Covert Narcissism, and/or emotionally wounded people,
like to use Codependent, empathetic, people pleasing friends and family in their life to regularly regulate their troubled emotional state, to gripe to, they like to have the empathetic listener validate their inner pain and tell them how sorry they are that life is so unfair for the person.
No concern is ever shown by the complainer for the listener, or, the listener may be tossed a small bread crumb of empathy in return, but that little bread crumb does not neutralize or make up for the hours and hours of rage and venting by the complainer, by the abuse victim, that’s been going on for months or years.
Possible Consequence of Withholding Forgiveness From Your Abuser
So, you know, if you choose to NOT forgive your abuser, that is your right, but be aware if you don’t forgive your abuser (which just means to stop dwelling on that person, what they did to you, stop expecting them to make amends (because it won’t likely happen, you are setting yourself up for prolonged dashed hopes)),
you will more than likely still have a lot of hurt or anger at that person,
and you will probably choose to deal with that anger and hurt by contacting the same one or two Codependent persons to complain to.
And that is NOT FAIR for your Codependent friend, co-worker, or family member. At all.
If you want to with-hold Forgiveness from your abuser, that’s pretty much fine by me, so long as you are not using and exploiting your caring, sweet, non-confrontational, codependent friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family who are great listeners who you KNOW you can count on to listen to your three hour, bile-and-hate filled, or sad-and-weepy phone calls to relieve your pent up emotions.
Because if you do so, you just may be damaging the mental health of your reliable, sweet, kind, non-judgmental friend or family member who is consistently taking your rant-filled, or sob-filled phone calls (or texts).
If you want to hold on to your anger against your abuser, if you choose not to forgive, do not use your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members as Free Therapists regularly:
start paying a professional, licensed, psychotherapist or a psychologist monthly to talk about your rage or sadness about how your ex-husband was a narcissistic abuser, or how your Grandpa sexually abused you as a child.
For the love of God, stop dumping all that repeatedly on to your close friend or your family member.
Codependents Will Usually Not Admit That Your Chronic Complaining Is Upsetting To Them
Be aware that not all Codependents will be upfront with you about any of this.
If you suspect your sister Jill is a Codependent, if you directly ask her,
“Say, Jill, do my repeated phone calls or text messages where I gripe about my abuse ever bum you out, bring you down, hurt your mental health or just plain drive you nuts or wear you out? Would you like for me to stop turning to you about all this, or not as often?,”
your friend (especially if she is Codependent) will be too afraid to tell you that yes, your regular complaint filled phone calls are tiresome, triggering HER anxiety or depression, and are annoying.
There is a chance, depending on the particular Codependent, that he or she may be honest and admit to you that your negative phone calls are taxing.
Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to ask, but in case you’re dealing with a Codependent who’s too afraid to be direct about it, you should consider practicing self discipline, and don’t complain to them as much.
Practice some self-discipline and stop over-relying on that person to gripe to as much.
Feeling Understood and Validated and Being Listened to By A Kind Person Feels Great – However…
I do understand feeling hurt, overlooked, or angry, and like nobody cares. I’ve been there before myself.
I understand and know how wonderful it can feel to finally find someone who will truly listen about your experiences and care – they do all the right things – they listen without passing judgment, giving advice, or shaming.
That sort of validation from another adult feels really good, it can be healing, but it’s very rare.
Most adults will not provide this sort of emotional support, nor do most even know how to do so, but they sure enjoy being on the receiving end of it.
So, I do know what it’s like to be bullied, abused, overlooked – that was my experience over much of my life.
I was a sweet, quiet, non-confrontational Codependent doormat, so I was targeted more than the average person by bullies and jerks.
But I was also very empathetic, understanding, kind-hearted, and a great listener, which made me very attractive to other hurting people.
As a result, I was also being exploited by abuse victims, clinically depressed people, Covert Narcissists, persistently unhappy people, etc.
But I’ve been there, I’ve also at times been the hurting or angry person who was hoping to receive validation and consideration.
I know what it feels like to go un-heard, overlooked, to not have anyone express caring or concern about me or my problems.
But I am going to reiterate, I am troubled and greatly annoyed by how one component of victim advocates or mental health professionals keep pushing this idea on to others, with no Qualifiers or Caveats, that it’s other people’s duty to offer non-judgmental emotional support, or that it’s okay for a victim to not forgive an abuser – because the ramifications on what this can, may, or does do to Codependents often is ignored.
If you keep telling people it’s their duty or job to console and comfort other people, some of your listeners are already Codependents, and they will feel over-burdened to take on even more care-taking, and those persons will suffer burn out.
⚠️ If you tell your abuse survivor audience that it’s fine for them to with-hold forgiveness from their abusers,
I can guarantee you that some percentage of that community will still be holding on to rage, anger, or sadness,
and some of them will seek to cope with such negative emotions (those negative emotions have to go somewhere, after all),
by dumping them repeatedly on to the same one or two friends or family, who will feel obligated (especially if they are people pleasing Codependents) to sit and listen to this non-stop complaining for hours over months or years, to feel obligated to console and “cheer up” this constantly-hurting, or constantly-angry person who will not leave the past in the past and choose to move forward… which can have negative repercussions on those individuals who are doing all the listening.
⚠️ If you are an abuse victim, if you don’t want to cause or intensify the mental health problems of your Codependent friends, I implore you to stop using that person (or the same few persons) as your continual supply of attention, empathy, and validation. ⚠️
Yes, ironically, some abuse victims, even victims of Narcissistic Abusers, can themselves turn into a version of, a type of, a pathological Narcissist by seeking “Empathy Supply” and “Validation Supply” from their Codependent friends and family. That is not okay, psychologists and therapists!
If you’re a therapist or psychologist, please consider periodically reminding your listeners or readers not to keep dumping all their pain in life on to the same person or two repeatedly, because so far as I am concerned, as a Recovered Codependent who is concerned about people who are still trapped in Codependency, that is another form of emotional abuse and exploitative in and of itself.
If you are hurting, angry, or upset, please find ways to cope and self-soothe that do not primarily or always rely on complaining or sobbing over the phone, in text messages, or in-person to that caring, understanding, non-judgmental friend you always turn to.
Because that one person who makes you feel so good after you get off the phone with them, is most likely (this was me for years!), sitting there afterwards, more often than not,
either feeling exhausted after having just taken another two hour negative call off you where they felt they had to cheer you up,
or, they feel worn out,
or it’s worsened their depression.
But they will probably never admit to or tell you any of that – because they are a Codependent and are afraid of coming across as selfish, they are afraid if they tell you they are tired of, or resent, your complaining (or sad, weepy) phone calls, that you may become angry at them, or that you may get so angry you cut them out of your life.
So the Codependent suffers in silence – for weeks, months, or years – because of YOU trying to get your Abuse Recovery Validation and Empathy Supply fix. Which is really no different from what Narcissistic Abusers who seek Supply do to THEIR victims, if you think about it.
Instead of dumping all your problems on to your (people pleasing), always so understanding, warm, and caring friend, start dealing with your emotional problems on your own, such as by journaling, going on a bike ride, going on a swim, taking pottery classes
– anything that does not involve you, once again, picking up that phone to gripe to your sweet, kind friend for an hour about how unfair your life is, your boyfriend is a jerk, your husband is abusive, whatever your problem is.
By the way, I had no choice but to follow my own advice there from childhood into adulthood.
Other than my mother, nobody ever consistently wanted to give me their time, attention, validation, or emotional support, and my mother died when I was in my 30s.
I had to get by on my own in that area. If I can do, it, yes, so can you.
If You Seek External Validation or Empathy, You Won’t Usually Get Any; You’ll Get the Opposite from Most Adults
Also, harsh reality: if you keep seeking validation and empathy from other adults, more often than not, you won’t receive any (I should do a separate post on this later).
Most of the time, when you attempt to go to another adult when you’re hurting about something, they will either make feeble excuses to get off the phone with you right away, or they will respond not with the compassion you had expected, but by victim blaming, shallow advice, or by criticizing you.
As a result, it can be tempting to keep phoning that one Codependent friend so you can dump your pain or frustration on to them,
because you KNOW that one particular friend will listen to you gripe for hours and won’t judge, victim blame, or criticize you,
but, you can cause damage to that one friend by doing this on a sustained basis;
you are exploiting that kind hearted, understanding, patient, Codependent friend to get YOUR needs met, which is exactly what Narcissists to do their victims, when you stop to think about it.
So… try self care.
Join some kind of online healing community, where you can talk amongst like-minded people.
But repeatedly turning to that one warm and fuzzy friend for that non-judgmental emotional support you are craving (like a drug) may be hurting that one friend.
Mental Health Professionals and Abuse Survivors Oblivious To Ramifications Their Advice May Have on the Codependent Friends and Family of Their Intended Audience
So, I see this content put out by therapists and psychologists or former abuse victims who specialize in topics like domestic violence and narcissistic abuse who coach their listeners they don’t have to forgive their abusers – and I’m like, oh no, I can see the consequences of this!
Depending on the particular abuse survivor and their preferred method of handling pain and stress, some of them will hear this
“you don’t have to forgive your abuser,” or “if you’re the friend of an abuse victim, just listen to them without judging them”
messaging from mental health professionals, and these victims will feel it’s perfectly fine for them to expect or demand on-going emotional support from their Codependent friends and family.
A segment of the abuse victim population will believe that it’s perfectly okay for them to deal with their on-going anger or hurt over the abuse by calling their sweet, kind-hearted friend for hours per week or month to vent about their abuse and they will have this false idea that their friend is obligated to sit and take all this emotional dumping and be fine with it.
Some of those abuse victims, thanks to these “don’t forgive your abuser, and your friends should be supportive of you” messages put out by therapists and psychologists, will expect their same friend or two to continue to give them frequent emotional support when in fact it’s NOT okay to put someone in this position.
I can attest to that as a former Codependent who was many people’s favorite, understanding, nurturing buddy they felt comfortable calling or texting when they were upset, angry, or frustrated, and wanted a supportive ear.
None of the people who contacted me over the years to use me as their sympathetic sounding board seemed to care about how me listening to them for hours over years was negatively impacting MY mental health (which it did).
If you’re not going to forgive your abuser, please do not expect or demand that your caring, sweet friends act as your Free Therapists when you are still wanting to rant about what a jerk your abuser was X months or years after the fact.
It’s up to YOU to get help for YOU, not indefinitely lean on your friends and family for that and expect that they forever console you.
You are responsible for your own happiness and inner peace.
I do find a lot in this video below that I agree with, but I just CRINGE knowing that some abuse victims will walk away from watching it, still holding on to their anger and hurt,
and then dealing with that anger and hurt by frequently dumping it all on to people such as myself,
who wrongly felt for years (due to the religion I was raised in, and due to the parenting I got) that it was my obligation to listen to the non-stop crying, complaining, etc,
which put my mental health into the toilet and kept it there:
(Link, You Tube Video): Is there virtue in forgiving a narcissist who doesn’t apologize?
Again I Say…
If you’re an abuse victim (or hurting due to some other issue in your life), I implore you, again, do NOT over-rely on the few people in your life who are good, empathetic listeners, who are “always there for you.”
By all means, stop staying in touch with your abuser, go ahead and cut them out of your life, or limit contact with them.
But if you’re not going to Forgive your abuser, there is a very real danger or possibility that you will hold on to anger against that person for years afterwards and want to rage and spew about it to your friends and family about it on a regular basis.
I know it’s very tempting to want to do that,
but there is a chance you are doing harm to that person (or persons) you keep using for emotional support,
and they may never tell you so, because they may be Codependents, people who have low self esteem, who are afraid to appear selfish, and who are deathly afraid of confrontation and argument.
So they will never tell you the honest truth that you constantly calling or texting them to “lean on them emotionally” while you are trying to get over your abuser is bothering them.
So they will pretend to be just fine with your constant texts or phone calls where you complain and cry all the time about your problems – but they are not fine or okay with it, and your “negative nancy” phone calls and texts may be worsening their depression, if they happen to suffer from depression.
Please do not exploit your understanding friends who are great listeners. Please put limits on how much or for how long you complain or cry to them about your abuse, your abuser, or whatever has you down in life.
(Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship